Would you take Driver’s Ed. from someone that has never driven before? Would you taste something ridiculous looking that you’re friend said was OK, but you knew that s/he has never tasted it before? Then why are so many people taking recommendations about their digital programs or allowing people to run their digital programs that have never actually done work in digital before.
Let’s be clear right from the start, I’m not talking about a new technology that didn’t exist six months ago, or the junior person on the team learning a new skill set to build up their breadth, I’m talking about how people turn over their digital work to people or groups that have no real in-depth experience from anyone in the group?
Could someone make some good recommendations about running a Google AdWords campaign without ever having been in the tool, sure – some of the principles are universal. However, would that person be able to make the best recommendations on creating, running and optimizing your campaign – absolutely not. This isn’t just about search campaigns, this is about every part of digital and all of the pre and post phases of the consumer journey that surround digital.
Walking the walk means having gotten your hands dirty by at least playing around with the various technologies or spending lots of time on the inside to see how it works (or doesn’t), and why.
The best person to run your digital program may not be the person with the best high-level pitch. Nor might that person or group be from your traditional agencies. To find out who’s best, you need to know that they’ve walked the walk.
Well, make sure the pitch and follow up processes are much more in-depth than you’re probably used to. Next, while you’re evaluating people and groups, make sure you have someone with at least some ‘inside’ knowledge that can ask the right questions. Take your time – give a 1-3 month assignment to multiple potential partners and see what happens. As part of the introductory phase have them come in and teach you and your team the guts of how these things work. Peeling back the curtain worked wonders for Dorothy to get her back to Oz, it can also do wonders for your digital programs.